Boi Khe and Chuon Ngo are famous Mother of pearl and eggshell inlay villages for thousands of years, located in Chuyen My commune, Phu Xuyen district, about 40 kilometers from Hanoi center. The trade village was established in 1009 by mandarin Truong Cong Thanh of Ly dynasty.In the early days, the master craftsmen of the village produced trays and furniture for the royal court like tea trays, banquet tables of kings, lords and queens and a lot of mother of pearl inlay furniture became symbols of prosperity. Because many of the pieces are really tiny, the intricate designs in some of this furniture takes a long time to finish.Nowadays, modern technique is applied to make the goods suitable for export markets. Excellent mother of pearl and eggshell inlay products of Boi Khe have reached the hands of foreign customers worldwide and highly appreciated
Products range: main products with unique characteristics.
With 1,000 years of illustrious reputation for fine mother of pearl inlay products, the village products are said to present the pinnacle of inlaying art in Vietnam. In present days, Boi Khe talented artisans have made a wide range of products. Apart from refined household goods such as cabinets, vases, chessboards, boxes, trays and bowls, mirrors, frames, they also produce sophisticated interior furniture like carved beds, wood panels, screens and even paintings and portraits.
The variety of products continues to grow with the support of Ha Thai bamboo lacquer Co., LTD. The company has always been aware of the foreign customers’ needs, bring the requirements to households in Boi Khe village for making them in traditional techniques and procedures under strict quality control of Ha Thai Co., LTD staffs. The products then will be double-checked and packaged in the company’s workshop before shipping abroad to the customers.
The art of Boi Khe inlaying requires craftsmen with dexterity and artistic sensibility. From common materials (pearl, shell and oyster) and common patterns (flowers, landscapes), the art works produced by each artisan differ in terms of color, smoothness and style.
The salient feature of Boi Khe’s inlay is perfect pieces of mother of pearl: unbroken, flat, and tightly fitted to the carved wood, MDF, bamboo, resin molds. Designs on mother-of-pearl are lively and special which bring you a feeling of mixing in nature between jungle and sea. From colorful mother of pearl, shell and oyster with wire range of decorative veins, the Chuyen My workers can create any sophisticated designs.
So far, Boi Khe’s products have been accepted by highly demanding markets such as the United States, EU zones, Japan or Korea. Besides the development of decorative and souvenir products, Boi Khe villagers have created new designs in a way that simplify traditional products and develop partial antique products in order to increase the possibility of exporting traditional products. To enhance competitiveness and raise product quality, Boi Khe villagers have applied modern equipment into production such as panting machine and laze cutting machines.
With the creation and quick response to market requirements of Ha Thai lacquer production export Co., LTD, the villagers have seen initial achievements as their products have been exported to international markets, which will open new prospects for the village.
Main materials are pearl shells and eggshells are taken from a special pearl with gold lips (Pinctada maxima). This kind of shell has large size with thick inside layers of iridescent nacre.
According to artisans, mother of pearl and eggshell inlay includes of 6 basic steps: drawing the design, cutting shell into the shape, mold shaping, sticking shell into the molds after filling, grinding and polishing, making antique look with black powders. Each step requires precise, meticulousness and carefulness. The first step is splitting shells into pieces and then cleaving. Small pieces of shell are soared in water and then heated to flatten as the pearl shell is very curve at first. Meanwhile, the mold surfaces are carved to receive pieces of pearl shells. After that, craftsmen use paint to mount and then grind the surface. In grinding process, artisans use sandpaper with big sand first and then with smooth sand and next with lime powder. The final step is polished and lacquered. Buyers can choose a various colors.
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